Dominoes are a family of tile-based games played with gaming pieces. They consist of rectangular tiles with a line dividing their face into two square ends.
The tiles are normally twice as long as they are wide and each end has a number of spots (pips or dots) marked on it.
The origins of dominoes are unclear, although some historians believe they may have originated in China during the 12th century. The game was a popular pastime during the Yuan Dynasty, and a Chinese historical account mentions the game being sold by peddlers in Wulin around 1232.
The earliest known sets of dominoes were made from either bone or wood, materials readily available at the time. Today, sets are more commonly made from plastic.
As with other games, the rules and variations evolved as cultures and circumstances changed. This is especially true of dominoes, which spawned several offshoots such as Mexican Train Dominoes.
Dominoes are a family of games that involve placing tiles from one’s hand to an arrangement or layout in the center of the table. These games can be either blocking games, in which the object is to empty one’s hand while blocking an opponent’s, or scoring games, in which players try to earn points by adding matching tiles from their hand to an open end of the layout.
The most common type of domino set is a double-six set, which contains 28 unique pieces. Its tiles are designed to represent the pips of a pair of dice, and each piece has a spot from zero to six.
The domino tile is a piece of wood, metal, or plastic that has a face and back. The front of each tile is blank or identically patterned and the back has an identifying mark. The face is divided into two squares by a line or ridge and each square has spots (pips), like those used on a die, except that some squares are blank.
The pips on the dominoes indicate the number of spots on each side and are colored white or black, depending on their design. The pips can be painted, molded, or drilled.
There are many types of domino games, including blocking, scoring, and trick-taking games. These vary from simple layout games where players add tiles from their hand to a layout in the center of the table, to domino versions of card games that incorporate a variety of rules and mechanisms.
Dominoes are small, flat, rectangular-shaped game pieces, and they have been made from a variety of materials. They are usually twice as long as they are wide and are made to be half as thick as they are wide so that they can stand on edge without falling over.
Today’s dominoes are mostly made from plastic and other hard, rigid materials. They are also sometimes made of bone, ivory or wood.
Early dominoes were carved from animal bones, but that practice became illegal in the 1960s when it was realized that many of the animals killed to make dominoes were endangered species.
A more common material used to make domino tiles was tagua nut, which is almost as valuable as ivory. It was first used in the 18th century by French prisoners of war and sailors.
One of the most interesting aspects of domino is its scoring system. Players score based on the open ends of each domino that they place.
Many domino games have a “line of play,” or layout, that is formed as each player plays his tile. These lines of tiles are usually parallel, but they may be perpendicular to each other or to the table surface.
In muggins, a version of the game that is often played in British pubs and social clubs, a player scores one point for every time he can set a domino that makes the sum of the open-end pips on his layout a multiple of five. This is done by playing a piece that matches either 5-5 (double-five), 6-4, 5-0, or 3-2.